Union County Panthers vs Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans
September 22, 2017
Location: Blairsville, GA
With the threat of rain approaching at the start of the Homecoming festivities on Friday night, the atmosphere was slightly sound. Parents, friends and teachers arrived several hours before kickoff to support the court and take pictures. Colorful dresses and flashes of camera lights filled up the Panthers endzone. The guys went on to complete their normal pre-game warmups and prepare for the challenge that was ahead.
Greater Atlanta Christian, also known as GAC is now ranked #1 in the AAA Region 7 standings and #6 in the Georgia AAA Region. GAC’s football program is responsible for producing 3 D1 commits this season alone: CB/RB #2 Kyler McMichael (Clemson), CB/WR #4 Trey Morrison (UNC), DE #74 Chris Hinton (Michigan).
As the clock struck 7:30pm, so did the lightning. The game was delayed for exactly one hour before the matchup could begin. After a series of heavy rain, thunder and lightning, the weather finally subsided and the teams took the field. The UC captains for the game were: #8 Cole Wright, #11 RJ Banton, #14 Riley Barrett, and #62 Del Ruff. GAC won the coin toss but allowed Union to receive the ball first.
Panthers, with an unintentional error, threw an interception at the 33-yd line for the first play of the game. It took GAC all of 45 seconds and 2 plays to score against the Panthers making it 7-0.
In the middle of play, the entire stadium lights went out! WOAH. The only lights that remained on for a duration of 30 minutes were those in the press box and those on the scoreboard. To add humor to the evening, fans began to pull out their phones with their flashlights on and wave them in their air like they were at a concert. It was pretty neat!
With all of the weather and technical difficulties out of the way for the evening, play resumed.
GAC scored once again with 5:18 left in the first off a 5-yd run up the middle. With a nasty onside kick, the Spartans tricked the Panthers and regained possession at their own 45-yd line. It took the Spartans 17 seconds, a 44-yd pass and a 1-yd rush to score the 3rd touchdown. 21-0 GAC.
Panthers with possession, paw upfield for a 1st and 10 at the 31-yd line. Yet, unfortunately, fumble the ball and do not recover. A few plays later, GAC scores again. 28-0 with 3:22 left in the first.
#17 Pierson Allison had to replace #8 Cole Wright halfway through the 1st due to a foot injury.
Panthers determined to change the score, work their way from the Spartans 20-yd line all the way to their endzone. At the 10-yd line #17 Pierson Allison dances around the backfield and bounces off some Spartans before finding #84 Kyle Morlock on the left hand side!! #36 Brian Smith puts it clean between the posts! 28-7 Spartans with 55 seconds left in the 1st.
GAC went on to score 2 more touchdowns against the Panthers before the end of the half. 41-7 Spartans.
The fans stuck around and were anxiously awaiting the halftime show. Homecoming 2017. Union County does their homecoming slightly different than most schools; each grade has a different number of representatives. Freshman elect 2, Sophomores elect 3, Juniors elect 4, and Seniors elect 5.
The members of the 2017 Homecoming Court are as followed: Freshman: Hannah Todd & Chloe Truex. Sophomore: Megan Bright, Caroline Collins, & Cydney Rich. Junior: Aladriel Arnold, Allison Fair, Maddie Sutton, & Carolyne Stone. Senior: Claudia Ledezma, Hannah Lickey, Jessica Palomo, Emily Rittenhouse, & Baylee Young.
The 2017 Homecoming Queen was awarded to Senior JESSICA PALOMO! The first runner up was awarded to Senior Claudia Ledezma & the second runner up was awarded to Senior Baylee Young. Congratulations ladies!!
The Spartans put up one final touchdown in the 4th quarter, ending the game at 47-7 with the Panthers first loss of the season.
The Panthers look forward to facing East Hall in Gainesville, GA for their second conference game of the season on September 29, 2017 at 7:30PM. The Panthers are now 4-1 overall for the season and 0-1 for Region! We need your support Panther fans!
Also, support the Panthers JV team this Thursday, September 28, 2017 as they face the Dawson County Tigers at home at 5:30PM! The JV Panthers are 2-0 currently!
RUSHING – 112 yards PASSING – 46 yards
RUSHING — Panthers: #24 C. Buzzard 20-27; #8 C. Wright 4-15; #17 P. Allison 2-13; #15 C. Dockery 3-5 Total: 46 Rushing Yards
PASSING — Panthers: #17 P. Allison 14/20, 112; #8 C. Wright 0-3 Total: 112 Passing Yards
RECEIVING — Panthers: #20 C. Rich 5-29; #4 K. Hemphill 3-24; #84 K. Morlock 2-20 (1 TD); #2 C. Schafer 2-14; #21 S. Drake 1-14; #22 A. Pattee 1-11
TACKLES — Panthers: #2 C. Schafer 5; #11 R. Banton 4; #17 P. Allison 3; #34 B. Nelson 3; #14 R. Barrett 2; #53 M. Beise 2; #74 N. Ledford 2; #7 A. Scott 2, etc.